No-Bake Date Squares ("Dadelvingers")

This no-bake date squares recipe is one of my Gran’s classic South African desserts. This is exactly how she makes it, and they are truly delicious every time! 

date squares slices dadelvingers

Dadelvingers or date slices are quintessentially South African treats. Made with dates and Marie biscuits rolled in desiccated coconut, these nostalgically sweet and sticky cookies are simply heavenly! This recipe is one that my Gran has been making for longer than I’ve been alive, and is the essence of simplicity and deliciousness.

This recipe is no-bake, so there’s no fussing with ovens or timers; everything is quickly and easily combined on the stove, chilled and sliced. All in 2 hours or so. What could be better? As a bonus, this recipe is vegetarian and quite budget-friendly, making these delightful cookies the perfect choice for teatime snacks or party nibbles. 

The only things you’ll need to make these wonderful no-bake date squares are 8 simple ingredients, 25 minutes of active prep and cook time, and a bit of love. Cheers!

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe video on Instagram click here. Happy cooking!

date squares slices dadelvingers

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a Marie biscuit? What else can I use?

Marie biscuits are light and crispy South African biscuits. If you can’t find them where you live, you can use McVities rich tea biscuits.

Can I make Dadelvingers/date squares without eggs/vegan?

We have not tested this recipe using vegan alternatives as yet. If you try making this recipe using vegan ingredients, be sure to let us know!  


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date squares slices dadelvingers

No-Bake Date Squares (“Dadelvingers”)

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
  • Yield: 20 Squares
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This no-bake date squares recipe is one of my Gran’s classic South African desserts. This is exactly how she makes it, and they are truly delicious every time! 


  • 1 cup/226g butter cup butter
  • 1 cup dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste, extract or essence
  • salt (pinch)
  • 1/4 cup or 40g nuts
  • 1 cup/200g sugar
  • 1 1/2 packets (300g) Marie biscuits or 1 packet (400g) McVitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • desiccated coconut, to serve


  1. Melt the butter and sugar together in a large saucepan. Slowly add the beaten eggs stirring constantly over medium-low heat, then add the dates, nuts and salt.
  2. Cook until thickened and remove from the heat, then add the vanilla.
  3. Break the biscuits into fairly large pieces and carefully mix them into the date and egg mixture. Ensure that the biscuit pieces are well coated.
  4. Pour into a baking paper-lined tin and allow to cool to room temperature. Place into the fridge and chill for two hours.
  5. Remove from the tin, cut into squares and roll in desiccated coconut. You can toast the coconut beforehand, or use plain desiccated coconut. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Chilling Time: 2 Hours
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: South African


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 225.65kcal
  • Sugar: 18.24g
  • Sodium: 76.01mg
  • Fat: 12.87g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.19g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.95g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.65g
  • Fiber: 1.16g
  • Protein: 2.25g
  • Cholesterol: 42.28mg

Keywords: Date Squares

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3 Responses

  1. This is the best recipe ever! I have already used this recipe 7 times and shared it to 4 different people. Someone actually asked me it they can order dates squares from me!! Honestly hands down one of the best and easiest recipes. It has definitely deserved its place in our family book of recipes. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. So glad to hear Jennifer! We look forward to your 8th cook, so don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see your pics!

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